Thursday, February 16, 2017

On an SSPX Personal Prelature. My Argument.

A priest in the know told me that the documents giving final approval for the Society of St. Pius X as a Personal Prelature are sitting on the desk of Pope Francis, waiting for his signature.

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Meanwhile most pro-SSPX voices in the blogosphere right now are skeptical and unsupporting of the initiative.  I understand the arguments.  Pope Francis is arguably the most questionable pope in Church history. The Dubia of the 4 Cardinals has backed him into a corner; a first-step Formal Correction is expected. The modernists want to quarantine off the traditionalists, and one day snuff them us out.  The Society will face pressures to compromise under the threat of persecution.  But hear me out.

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The crux of the matter is the sine qua non requirement of the Society before it will sign: it must be admitted they have the right to publicly resist-criticize-clarify certain doctrinal errors in the documents of Vatican II and the text of the New Mass.  In other words they must be accepted AS IS.

The Vatican Prelate in charge of SSPX-Vatican negotiations recently stated that the Society's doctrinal positions (dubia) are in fact permissible, and not an impediment to their canonical regularization.  By the way, this one issue has been THE issue until now.  

The Vatican modernists who want to make the Pastoral Council an infallible super-dogma, and make Catholics blindly accept it--without actually catechizing them about it in the first place--have been holding Absolute Acceptance of all VII documents over the heads of the SSPX, under threat of excommunication.  Turns out their human ultimatum is not orthodox.  Admitting the pastoral statements in question are not infallible, and the SSPX (and I'd think the FSSP, etc) can in fact raise public objections would be a major paradigm shift, I'd think.  The question of the Vatican II Reform would become a more universal discussion.

Turns out that yes, Catholics can respectfully question non-infallible, pastoral statements, without being labelled schismatics, as theologians have done before over certain statements made by ecumenical councils.

Archbishop Lefebvre himself stated several times, even towards the end of his life after relations with Rome broke down, that he wanted an "Experiment of Tradition," his words, an experiment, as long as they were not required to compromise on doctrine, and could have their own bishop.  To try it.

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Flash forward 25+ years later, and the Superior General Bishop Fellay has achieved much more leverage and protection for the Society in relations with Rome.  The stigma of being backward for their attachment to the Tridentine Mass has at least been officially lifted with Summorum Pontificum, after which a Motu Proprio Latin Mass movement exploded worldwide, with many more priests and laity thinking along the lines of the SSPX and actually in support of it.  The doctrinal issues have been underlined and clarified as best as can be expected for now by the 2009-2011 SSPX-Vatican Doctrinal Commission.

And it was NEVER a sine qua non of ABL that modernist Rome must first convert back to Tradition, and that a normal state of the Church be restored.

So yes, I'm an SSPX Accordista, 100% in favor of trying a Personal Prelature ad experimentum.  Here's my top 10 reasons why I think it's a good idea.

Top 10 Reasons Why an SSPX Personal Prelature is a Good Idea:

1.  As Bishop Schneider recently stated, if Rome pressures the SSPX to compromise on their identity, they can resist to the point of pulling out of the Personal Prelature and continue as they have been since their illegal suppression in 1975.



Recent Interview of Bishop Athanasius Schneider about the SSPX Personal Prelature.  This is BRILLIANT.  A MUST WATCH.  Pop some Popcorn!

2. Every SSPX chapel, school, priory, etc already established on all the habitable continents (the international SSPX is huge by the way), would automatically be approved by Rome permanently within each individual diocese, with a permanent right to continue independent of the local bishop.

3. The head of the SSPX prelature would be a Bishop with jurisdictional authority over the laity who attend SSPX chapels, such that the laity are not compelled to attend Mass anywhere else than an SSPX chapel.  This would be laid out in the STATUTES of the prelature, in a very specific way that guarantees autonomy of the SSPX effectively as a "non-territorial diocese."  The key to the structure is the statutes, which by all reports has already been worked out.

4. The Archbishop always wanted an "Experiment of Tradition."  Some SSPX supporters may not know that the Archbishop insisted to his priests that they maintain relations with Rome and seek ordinary union with the pope, based on the doctrinal imperatives of unity with the Successors of St. Peter.  He was not a sedevacantist or stubborn separatist.

5. According to Bishop Fellay in a recent interview, the Bishop over the SSPX would be able to incardinate new religious orders under its umbrella.  That would not only include the MANY orders, monasteries, and convents already under the SSPX umbrella, but anytime a traditionalist order or priest gets evicted from a diocese, no worries, they can go under the SSPX. Mother Miriam, if you're reading, I hope you'd consider this option for your community recently severed from the Tulsa Diocese.

6. The SSPX will not allow itself to be quarantined off.  No, it is arguably the most evangelical force of traditional Catholicism in the world.  True, many of its members can tend to be insular, but its momentum has always been outward, pro-active, and international. I think that comes from the extraordinary apostolic spirit of the saintly missionary bishop who founded their society.  

Trouble is their irregular status has kept them in the dark in all dioceses.  Almost no Catholic in any diocese knows about the local SSPX chapel.  I can assure you, the canonically recognized SSPX will make sure Catholics in the diocese know they exist.  Imagine the many dioceses who would at least somewhat welcome them or authentically tolerate them, such that they have access to avenues in the diocesan structure such as the Diocesan Registry of parishes, Catholic conferences, priest meetings, diocesan March for Life, etc, etc, etc. The SSPX is crafty.  They have decades of experience knowing how to astutely navigate irregular settings.

7. A Prelature may mean a NEW phase for the Traditional Movement, increasing unity among traditionalists, which is greatly needed.  For example, while I know that your average FSSP priest will not preach against the New Mass from the pulpit, catch them after Mass and most will gladly tell you its dangers.  I'd wager a months wages most FSSP priests privately agree, for the most part, with Archbishop Lefebvre. 

Officially, part of the raison de faire of the FSSP was to bridge the SSPX back into normal union with Rome, but unofficially they are practically almost the same entity as the SSPX.  Decades of hostility can be addressed.  I predict that the canonically recognized SSPX will become the unofficial unifier for the traditionalist movement.  Many conservatives will shift to the right towards traditionalism, and many Ecclesia dei trads will gravitate more towards the SSPX.  

Its ironic how the "Francis Effect" is indirectly solidifying the traditional practice of the Faith, as opposed to the post-Vatican II apostasy.  

8. Truth be told, the irregular situation of the SSPX has partly created countless examples of bizarre weirdness in the Society.  Sit down after Mass with someone who's been with the Society for years, and they'll admit there are many extreme elements and extremely dysfunctional patterns in the Society. 

Bishop Fellay himself said this was one important reason to seek normalcy in the Church.  I'm talking about Catholics who lack foundational knowledge about the institutional Church, the life of a diocese or even a normal parish life.  I'd predict a small minority would resist this normalizing effect, and leave for "resistance" or sedevacantist chapels, but friends this experiment might make SSPX chapels more hospitable and inviting places to practice traditional Catholicism.

9. Our goal is not to form private clubs of self-enlightened traditionalists with gnostic knowledge about the Crisis.  Our aim is not merely to have our private experience of the Tridentine Mass and acquire a "sacrament machine" priest to hear confessions and offer a valid Mass.  Our spirit is not that of the synagogue, but that of the Catholic Church.  We must be actively trying to bring all novus ordo Catholics to Catholic Tradition, which means to the True Mass at our chapels and parishes.  The TLM is not a mere liturgical preference for a private group of Gregorian chant/Latin nerds who want conservative liturgy.  A Prelature would communicate to the world more loudly than ever the reality of the traditional Mass/Faith.

10. All the conditions for an Agreement, as stipulated by Archbishop Lefebvre, and even more strictly by Bishop Fellay, HAVE FINALLY BEEN MET.  All that is left is our prayers and Francis signing the Canonical Recognition.

Friends, I'm not trying to jerk around the Naysayers against this agreement.  As an active supporter of the Society of St. Pius X for over 10 years now, I am simply stating the reality of what is about to happen, and advocating for us to support this initiative for the good of the Church and the Society.  

22 comments:

  1. Brilliant and well said indeed.
    My sentiments and arguments exactly.
    GRATIAS TIBI! +

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    1. Who knew Ron Jeremy cared??

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  2. I am also an SSPX supporter. I do not trust Pope Francis after all that he has done. If the SSPX makes a deal I would expect Francis to try to make the SSPX compromise the faith.

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    1. You are absolutely demonstrably correct!

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    2. I do not trust Pope Francis (still less many of the prelates around him) either. The record speaks for itself.

      But that is beside the point. The real question is whether you trust the leadership of the Society if they take the prelature. Whether you trust them to take a deal they can assess as being in the Society's true interest. Whether you trust them to resist any efforts to destroy or compromise the Society, even to the point of moving back to a posture of open resistance to the Holy See again.

      Because if you do not trust them in these ways, you probably should not be attending or supporting an SSPX chapel/priory in the first place. And you should head immediately for a Williamsonite or sede chapel right away.

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  3. You make valid arguments, but remember this: the SMOM is a sovereign entity, do you think that would stop Bergoglio and his henchman from seizing their assets?

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  4. Touche! At a time when schism is looming on the horizon, this agreement legitimizes the Society in the eyes of the world. As an SSPX Mass-goer who frequently receives questions regarding the canonical status of the Society from newcomers to our chapel, this is a good thing.

    Of course, Bergoglio cannot be trusted. If the Society is regularized, when schism happens it will be obvious where the real Church lies. The timing of this couldn't be better.

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis!

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    1. People who are worried more about "canonical status" than the truth, are not worthy of Archbishop Lefebvfre's Society.
      For Heaven's sake, take a look at all of the many trad groups who made deals. The ALL without exception now have to say the New Mass and if that doesn't bother you, you should be with the Fraternity of St. Peter, the betrayers. It was just in 2006 that Bishop Fellay was insisting in writing that we could not possibly unite with a Rome that had not returned to Tradition. THAT was the official position of the Society for decades!

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    2. 1. And yet: Archbishop Lefebvre tried repeatedly over the years to obtain a canonical arrangement. Just as he had in 1969-70. He obviously thought it mattered.

      2. I'm not aware of the Institute of Christ the King priests ever celebrating a Novus Ordo Mass. I have heard of them occasionally sitting in choir at a concelebrated chrism Mass in the diocese where they have their oratories. But that is not celebration. That's no more than passive attendance.

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  5. We have a SSPX chapel close to where I live. However our local parish provides a TLM every Sunday and the SSPX only has middle of the afternoon Sunday. I would not mind attending the SSPX chapel at all. I wonder if the FFI could go to them, the ones that wanted the traditions of the Church? Right now even bishops who allow them to live their holy charism are being removed.

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  6. The SSPX cannot continue as it is and has been. Allow God to lead them. I don't trust Francis either, but the Church doesn't belong to Francis. It belongs to the "God of surprises." He may have a big one in store for Francis. :)

    Lorrie

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  7. Will the outcome be different if Frances is a validly elected heretic, versus an antipope? Do all of his acts and appointments stand if he is indeed an antipope, and Benedict is the valid pope?

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  8. I am an old campaigner Society faithfuland a Third Order member since the beginning. I don't know how long Joseph has been with the SSPX, he looks young. But I know that he is mistaken about Archbishop Lefebvre's attitude toward reconciling with apostate Rome. He stated many times that there could be no union between the Church and the false church, the Conciliar church. He said that they had lost the Faith and he could not trust them until they returned to Tradition (Catholicism). He would not have agreed to a deal with the worst pope in history, including Alexander!
    We stand to lose everything. Campos trusted, as Lorrie says we should do. Look what happened, now they say the Novus Ordo Missae. Every group has had to say it. They tried to make us agree to do it back in '88 as a prerequisite.
    We are the Church, who have the Faith. As St. Athanasius said, "they have the buildings, we have the Faith."
    No deal with Modernists EVER! The last time Bishop Fellay was trying to get Rome's seal of approval, he was giving away the farm. We would have been under the control of the bishops who hate us. I am sure we cannot look to Francis for any kind of protection. He only wants us to destroy the last remaining hold outs. Bishop Fellay has stars in his eyes. and so do all those who so desperately want to be "in full communion" with anti-Catholic Rome. There is no such thing as partial communion by the way. That was a term made up since Vatican II. One is either Catholic or one is not. I raised many children who all still have the Faith, thanks to God and Archbishop Lefebvre. We have kept the Faith by avoiding contagion with the Novus Ordo. God protects us and He expects us to use our sense that He gave us and not rush headlong off of a cliff.

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    1. That is quite a testimony, thank you.
      I ask myself this question whenever I think about this topic.
      What's in it for Jorge?
      This seems completely ill-advised. Frankly, I can't imagine what Bishop Fellay is thinking. None of the arguments for seem compelling enough to override the dangers. No matter what deal is struck, he can find a way to subvert it. There is not one positive thing about this papacy that the SSPX can point to as evidence of potential goodwill and a likely positive outcome.

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  9. It is only in this epic epoch that a schism would refuse communion with a Pope Saint but accept communion with one most trads consider a heretic.

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  10. It matters little which modernist pope sits on the throne of Peter. Yes, the Archbishop wanted the experiment of tradition, but he later realized that it would be a great mistake to reconcile with Rome until Rome has returned to Tradition.

    Bishop Fellay has not wanted for Francis to sign the deal. The SSPX recently purchased a property in Rome (big house and church) which is believed to be the future headquarters of the SSPX Personal Prelature. The church is called, 'Santa Maria Immacolata All'Esquilino. You can do a google search along with the term 'SSPX' and you'll find the info about it.

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    1. The Archbishop never said that he wouldn't talk to Rome until Rome returned to Tradition. He always said that if Rome wanted to talk then he would talk to them because as a missionary he knew only too well that nobody converts until someone converts them. Regarding the Rome church, the SSPX has been looking for a property in Central Rome for a long time to replace the small, inadequate and overcrowded chapel they presently have. It is certainly not because of any Prelature.

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  11. Quote:
    "All the conditions for an Agreement, as stipulated by Archbishop Lefebvre, and even more strictly by Bishop Fellay, HAVE FINALLY BEEN MET."

    THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE.

    "NO PRACTICAL AGREEMENT WITHOUT DOCTRINAL AGREEMENT"
    - Archbishop Lefebvre

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  12. The Vatican that puts these statutes in a legally binding framework can also change them that their pleasure. As an SSPX chapel attendee this gives me pause. These people fomented a modern day English Reformation/ French Revolution in the Church and we are supposed to trust them? Am I wrong in my thinking?
    I love them in all charity but I do not trust them in the least.

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  13. Oh, Wow! It just occurred to me why He would approve them after shutting down the Franciscans. The SSPX criticize Vatican II, so if they can, so can He, and then use that platform to undo other things. Anyone reading about Mass reform?

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  14. The SSPX is dead. The mantle of defending tradition has passed to Bishop Williamson Bishop Faure Bishop Tomas and soon to be Bishop Zendejas. The resistance is the future, thank God for Bp Williamson

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